The Macular Society launched its inaugural Macular Week in 2015, and due to its role as a charity partner of Vision Express, The Tonic Communications was engaged to raise awareness of macular degeneration, the key risk factors and how the condition can be managed.

The regional PR strategy incorporating identifying members of the Macular Society who were personally affected, and matching them to Vision Express stores based nearby. The charity ‘ambassadors’ were invited as special guests to stores for a ‘Tea for MD’ event, with their experiences pitched to local media and photocalls set up using an over-sized pair of yellow sunglasses.

The Tonic was involved in ambassador liaison, exercising diplomacy and showing sensitivity to the needs of the visually-impaired people who had volunteered their time and support. Information about macular disease, symptoms and consumer tips on how to prevent the condition were developed into a package for media and results included over 25 articles generated, reaching almost 100,000. The activity has formed part of a number of national award entries which have secure shortlist spots, including the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards (Sustainability and CSR) and Retail Week Awards (Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year).

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Darren HarrisJoules